Healthcare Technology Featured Article

February 24, 2014

The Search for a Better Patient Experience Brings Customer Care Companies to Healthcare

Today, more than ever, the quality and value of the experience offered by healthcare organizations to patients is critical. While the days of a single doctor in a small office seeing a regular roster of familiar patients may not be completely dead – yet – more Americans receive their healthcare in large and “corporate” settings in which they may be one of hundreds of patients each day. Healthcare in the U.S. is big business, and it’s currently in the process of great changes due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, or “Obamacare.”)

It’s not simply about making the patient experience more pleasant. The larger healthcare organizations get, the more they need to manage their information in a big business kind of way. By finding efficiencies and eliminating redundant tasks, these organizations can keep their profit margins up. Many organizations are looking for the kind of customer experience management solutions, omnichannel approach, workforce management, data analytics, quality monitoring and other solutions that are used in the contact center industry.

Avaya is one of the companies whose history is predominantly in the contact center industry but is reaching out to healthcare. The company has debuted solutions designed to enhance the patient, provider and payer experiences and advance their business through technologies that improve care team collaboration, patient outreach and service delivery. Avaya solutions are also helping healthcare organizations better use some twenty-first century tools including telemedicine (remote diagnosis and consultation) and virtual healthcare has helped improve patient outcomes, increased care team productivity, and allowed greater cost control while still protecting patient data.

Some of the technologies healthcare organizations are looking for in order to meet patient needs today are mobile solutions that will allow patients to interact with healthcare providers on their smartphones and tablets, videoconferencing solutions that allow for remote consultation, advanced networking solutions that allow partner providers to share information in a secure way, and unified communications and collaboration solutions that allow for maximum communication between all providers for a single patient.

According to Avaya, the company provides communications, collaboration and networking solutions more than 5,500 healthcare institutions around the world, including seven out of 10 top hospitals. This area is also seeing large investment and interest from other IT players such as IBM and others. Interestingly, it’s also attracting a number of startup healthcare IT players, attracted to the multi-trillion dollar marketplace that so clearly needs it skills (the launch of the Web site last fall demonstrated this need).

As healthcare providers grow larger and begin to compete across geographic locations, the greater their need will be to securely manage information and attract patients looking for a better experience. Taking cues from the contact center industry might be just what they require. 

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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